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Executive Constantine's 2015/2016 budget is $8.9 billion and reflects tough choices in the Criminal Justice system, Transit, Roads, and Public Health

The Proposed Budget includes significant changes in services which will have substantive impacts across the entire County.   While there are a number of investments in natural resources, parks, and levy supported services, there are reductions in critical services supported by property taxes, State and Federal funding.

Proposed Budget Highlights

  • The total 2015/2016 Proposed General Fund Budget is $1.5 billion.
  • The 2015/2016 Proposed Budget includes 12,997 FTEs, 347 fewer than in 2014.  There are over 500 position reductions, partially offset by new positions in some areas.
  • The 2015/2016 Proposed Budget funds some County programs at 2013/2014 levels but has substantive reductions across a range of services.
  • The long term financial outlook of the General Fund has improved over the past five years primarily as a result of reducing the growth in costs from approximately 5.0 percent to 3.3 percent annually.

Some of the most significant issues in the budget include:

County resources for essential services are not sufficient.  Despite successful efforts in reducing costs, the County’s revenue tools are not sufficient.

Cost reductions are being made across the criminal justice system.  Justice and safety agencies make up 73% of the General Fund budget and resources are not sufficient to support the current way we do business.   The budget includes several significant changes.
View more information on the jail population.

Significant reductions in public health services to some of the people most in need.  Through several creative partnerships we were able to reduce the impact but the long-term financial picture is not sustainable without additional revenue.  View more detailed information on specific public health program.

Providing appropriate treatment and placement for people with serious mental health issues is in flux.  The State Supreme Court’s decision on boarding and the changing financial situation strains our mental health system.

Transit services will be reduced by 11% across the County.  Efficiencies allowed some services to be preserved, but 400,000 hours of transit service need to be reduced because of financial shortfalls.  Some jurisdictions are seeking strategies that preserve or enhance transit in their communities.

County roads will decline in condition.  A series of additional reductions are planned and many County roads will no longer be maintained or repaired.

Despite the challenges, the Proposed Budget continues to advance the Executive’s priorities:

King County will become the Best Run Government in the country.  The County is reducing the cost to deliver services and will continue to find efficiencies to bring cost growth in line with inflation plus population growth.

Lean methods for continuous improvements are delivering results for King County citizens.   Lean’s emphasis on improving work processes by relying on the insights of the people doing the work has made for better services, more empowered and productive employees, and increased efficiency, including some financial savings.

Climate Change.  The County is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which is critical to our children and our future as a society.

We are committed to improving Equity and Social Justice outcomes for all residents of King County.  The County intentionally integrates the principle of “fair and just” in all it does, from hiring practices, to providing services, to making budget decisions.